Your Bag (0)



    Not all Omega-3 Supplements are Created Equal

      |  Jul 06, 2023

    There are three forms of Omega-3 fatty acids that are essential to the optimal functioning of our bodies: alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). These acids work together across our bodies to provide a wide range of benefits, from preventing heart disease to balancing the endocrine system. 

    Due to their important role in our daily and long term health, the market for omega-3 supplements has grown significantly. In 2020, the supplement’s market size was 5.58 billion USD, and studies expect it to grow by 7.8% from then until 2028. However, with popularity comes oversaturation. There are hundreds of various omega-3 supplements on the market, and not all of them are equal. 

    So how do you know you’re getting the omega-3s you need?

    Benefits of Omega 3s

    Before we jump into how to get omega-3 fatty acids, it’s important to understand their benefits so you can ensure you’re taking the right supplement. 

    Bodily functions

    Each cell in our body is protected by a complex membrane, of which omega-3s are essential components. Most commonly, DHA is found in your eyes, brain, and sperm cells. Alongside basic cellular function, omega-3s provide energy that facilitates necessary functions in your heart, lungs, immune system, and endocrine system.

    Cognitive function

    As we age, cognitive function is prone to decline. Taking regular doses of omega-3 fatty acids have been linked to a reduced risk of developing Alzheimers and dementia, along with other common cognitive issues. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, more research is needed on the direct link between omega-3s and cognitive function. However, if you’re interested in maintaining your brain’s health as you age, Modern Age offers a wide range of relevant, evidence based treatments, from Neurofeedback Therapy to NAD+ IV Drips.

    Heart disease prevention

    Studies show a strong link between omega-3s, overall heart health, and the prevention of heart disease. A sufficient amount of omega-3s in your diet or through supplements can help keep your heart beat at a regular clip—decreasing your risk of cardiac death—lower your blood pressure, and improve blood vessel function.

    Additional benefits of omega-3s include infant health development, lowered risk of breast and colorectal cancers, and controlling conditions like lupus and eczema.

    How to get Omega 3s

    Unlike most fats, which the body can make on its own from other fats or sources, omega-3 fatty acids can only be created from food. While ALA can convert into small amounts of EPA and DHA, it lacks the ability to create the amount of these acids your body needs.

    You might be familiar with different “healthy fats” like avocado or nuts, but most experts recommend getting your omega-3 fatty acids from fish, including oysters, mackerel, sardines, and anchovies. For the vegetarian (or just the seafood averse) walnuts and soybeans can also be a healthy source of omega-3s. Unless you’re eating seafood regularly, the simplest way to get these vital nutrients is from a supplement.

    What to look for in an Omega-3 supplement

    Despite the popularity of omega-3 supplements, many offerings on the market don’t include sufficient amounts of the essential fatty acids you need. To ensure you’re getting the most from your dietary supplement, aim for 2 grams of total omega-3s per day. We recommend Thorne’s Super EPA Pro supplement, which offers a high dose of both EPA and DHA, sourced from highest quality, purest fish oil available from sustainably-sourced, cold-water fish. 

    Other qualities depend on your own preferences and dietary restrictions. Some brands do offer supplements for vegetarians made from algal oil, and others (like Thorne) create formulas that reduce the “fishy” taste typically associated with omega-3 fish oil supplements.

    If you’re just starting to take supplements, or want to learn more about what your body needs, our Aging Wellness Assessment can help. You’ll work with a certified clinician to gain a comprehensive view of your health, and create a plan designed to address your specific aging and wellness concerns.